More than one actor has been inspired by the community's Heritage Playhouse theatre that sits at the highway and North Road in Gibsons. Playwright David King is among its fans, and he doesn't want to see it sit in darkness during the summer months.
King is spending more time on the Coast these days and less in Vancouver, but his career still involves writing plays and songs, making music, directing and creating commissioned work for theatre companies. He has decided to take the first step towards building a summer repertory company on the Coast that will perform one of his original musicals this summer, Stars Without Makeup.
He will be launching the idea of the new company, Rising Tide Theatre, at an entertaining performance evening next Saturday, March 8 at the Heritage Playhouse.
The highlight of the show is an original scripted reading of a one-act play, Seniors Day, about the value of theatre in a community.
Two older guys, performed by actor Chad Hershler and actor/director David Hurtubise, meet in front of a mall supermarket, not unlike one in Gibsons. They are strangers to one another, which often makes it easier to speak freely.
"Talking to people you don't know is like a mirror that reflects back on us," said King. "When a play of mine is performed it's talking to an audience of people I don't know."
In addition to the play and a talk from King about the concept of summer rep, there will be music. Harris van Berkel, musician and vocalist, will play, theatre professional Wanda Nowicki will sing, and local musicians Ken Dalgleish, Boyd Norman and Clay Hepburn of the Duttons will perform.
King looks forward to his full length "chamber musical," as he calls it that will be produced this summer.
Stars Without Makeup will premiere on the Coast and go on to open in Vancouver in 2015. The story line follows two famous individuals, one an A-list actress and the other a famous pop singer, who have a falling out over a man. Though their feud is hot and strong, they both continue to use the same massage therapist. But is the therapist trustworthy or is she in league with the paparazzi to grab the money shot?
He's already cast three professionals for the roles, choosing actors who can sing over singers who can act.
"This is a comedy," explains King. "The actors need excellent timing."
King's sense of humour is dry. On his album, Man About Midnight, two songs are about the Sunshine Coast. It features the music of a collective, Pop Wisdom. King's lyrics and music showcase some of that humour. Queen of Surrey, the first track, is quirky and funny and yes, it's refers to a vessel we all know and love.
"All my work has a strong sense of place," he said, and agrees that he's a bit of a one-man band, also performing spoken word, narrative woven into a musical piece.
"I make as many demands on myself as I like," he said.
The launch of Rising Tide Theatre takes place at 8 p.m. If the public likes the summer repertory concept, thenRising Tidewill undertake a full summer slate for the following year. Tickets are $20, available at Laedeli, Gaia's Fair Trade and Truffles Café or at the door. Chat with King more at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-886-0482.
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